On November 18th, 2011, in Bucharest, was held FIT Europe International Seminar “Working Together to Mutual Benefit”, organized be the Association of Translators of Romania (ATR) and FIT Europe (the International Federation of Translators Regional Centre for Europe). Representatives from more than 30 associations of translators participated in the event. ATP Moldova was represented by Aliona Mihăilă-Brînză. The seminar was a good opportunity to discuss different forms of collaboration in the domain of translation, to share experiences and exchange ideas, information and worries related to the translator profession as well as challenges it is confronted with.
The following lecturers gave presentations during the seminar: Reiner Heard, Mirko Silvestrini and Eyvor Fogarty from FIT Europe; Anca Greere, Thomas Tolnai, Emanuel Bod and Cristiana Cobliş from ATR Romania and Cristian Buchiu from DGT, the European Commission.
Given below is brief information about the most interesting presentations:
- Training Translators in Higher Education: Benefits and Challenges, Anca Greere, Director of the European Master’s in Translation Studies and Terminology at the Department of Applied Modern Languages, Faculty of Letters, ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University, Cluj Napoca, Romania, focused on translator training in higher education institutions. One thing noted was the importance of considering the market requirements of translation studies and simulating real working conditions, focusing on extra linguistic skills of future translators, for example, the ability to search efficiently for data or to use computer-assisted translation tools. The speaker referred to Romania, the challenges the translator training process is confronted with and the forms of their solutions; accommodating global professional objectives into the training programme. Relevant aspects tackled in the presentation are as follows: the expansion and diversification of language professions and professional profiles, the flexibility and responsibility required in professional conduct and the development of a sense of belonging to a professional community.
- Collaborative Strategies for Specialisation, Thomas Tolnai, freelance translator experienced in the following domains: medicine / pharmaceutical, marketing, automotive, localization, subtitling. BA and MA in Applied Language Studies, ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University, Cluj Napoca, Romania. The presentation was focused on the importance of specialization for translators and highlighted a number of specialisation strategies, for example, collaboration with experts in a domain, studies in the domain, consultation of free university courses or creation a corpus of reference texts.
- The Freelance Team: Organization and Collaborative Tools, Emanuel Bod, freelance translator. BA and MA in Applied Language Studies, conference interpreter, ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University, Cluj Napoca, Romania. The presentation was focused on some methods and tools of collaboration in a freelance translator’s team. Freelance translators usually work alone and they are limited by their work capacity in the number and volume of projects that they can accept. But the large projects need not be out of reach for freelance translators: they can pool their resources and competences and accept a large project as a team. There are clear advantages to collegial collaboration, and with the right tools they don’t even need to be all in the same place. A schema was presented that helps to calculate the number of people needed for certain translation project (pages per day, number of days, number of pages), to suggest useful tools to facilitate cooperation among team members.
- Revision for Translators, Eyvor Fogarty, freelance translator, editor and tutor, the Great Britain. Revision (checking, editing, proofreading) is a service many translators are asked to provide, often without clear instructions or realistic deadlines. Revision means neither editing nor text re-writing and sets objectives that will help to improve translation quality and recommend corrective measures. An overview of some of the challenge and solutions was provided.
- Towards a European Certification System for Translators, Cristian Buchiu, DGT, European Commission. The language industry is a booming sector in the EU. The demand for translators will continue to grow in the coming years and more and more people will consider becoming professional translators to take advantage of new opportunities. At the same time, the translator profession is not regulated in the majority of countries. European Commission is now working towards the creation of a system voluntary certification of translators on the European level. And by 2012 the European Commission hopes to set up a European pilot project to assess the overall feasibility. The presentation provoked many debates and questions related to the system’s organization and operation, evolution criteria for translators and practical advantages of certification.
At the end of the seminar the issue of machine translation was debated: whether it poses a threat or not to the translator profession. One of the conclusions was that the machine translation is reality but it only applies to highly specialized domains or translated texts where quality does not matter. However, translators may need to develop new skills, for example, in post-editing and revision of machine translated text.
The seminar was successful and interesting and focused on different important perspectives for translation: translator, translation bureau, university lecturer.
On November 19th, 2011 the General Assembly of FIT Europe was held. ATP Moldova was represented by Mrs. Aliona Mihăilă-Brînză, the member of the Board of Directors. ATP Moldova participated for the first time at a high-level forum. It was an opportunity for the Association to speak about its activity and specifics on an international level, and also about the challenges some small associations of professionals are confronted with.
As it turned out other associations undergo the same path and are confronted with the same challenges as ATP Molova does: unfair competition, level of translator’s competency, translator’s specialization. It was gratifying to find out that other associations also rely mostly on internal education, professional growth and collaboration between translators.
New contacts with colleagues from other countries (Grecece, Germany, Austria, Great Britain) were established, but in particular with colleagues from Romania. We hope that in the nearest future there will be held many mutual visits in order to extend experience sharing. Official invitations to visit the Republic of Moldova and ATP Moldova were made to Mrs. Anca Greere and Mrs. Cristiana Cobliş.
Additional information can be found at the following site: http://www.fit-europe-seminar.org/ro/